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Just Do Art

June19CN_JDA_10Hairy

10 HAIRY LEGS
With the go-go boys of Rawhide and Splash long gone, where exactly does one go to see well-defined men in various states of undress, dancing up a storm? Through June 29, some of those crumpled up singles you used to keep handy for “entertainment purposes” will gain you entry to New York Live Arts. That’s where 10 Hairy Legs celebrates the tremendous technical and emotional range of the male dancer. While not identifying as a gay company, founder Randy James notes, “We perform some gay-themed work, by gay choreographers. We also perform work by heterosexual men and women. Some of that is gay-themed, and some not.” That being said, James let us know that, like most current members of the company, he is openly gay (and there are two couples among the dancers).

Now that they’ve got your attention, try focusing back on the best reason to be there: a rotating program with pieces including a reimagined version of David Parker’s physically intimate “Friends of Dorothy.” Tiffany Mills’ “Work for Five Dancers” is a recurring dream that begins with the same image, and then diverges according to the quirks and personalities of each dancer. Before the June 28 performance, James will lead a workshop about the relationship between live music and dance (register in advance, via the 10 Hairy Legs website).

June 26 – 29, Thurs./Fri./Sat. at 7:30 p.m. and Sun. at 2 p.m. At New York Live Arts (219 W. 19th St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). For tickets ($20, $15 for students, seniors), call 212-024-0077 or visit 10hl.org.

Image courtesy of NY Writers Coalition Meet some of the contributors to “Still Practicing,” at their June 25 book launch event.

Image courtesy of NY Writers Coalition
Meet some of the contributors to “Still Practicing,” at their June 25 book launch event.

NY WRITERS COALITON: WRITING ALOUD READING SERIES
Now in its tenth season, the Writing Aloud Reading Series gives the public a chance to discover what’s been developed during the free creative writing workshops offered by the NY Writers Coalition. This month’s Pried-themed installment features established poet and playwright Joan Larkin reading from her newest work (“Blue Hanuman”), alongside Writers Coalition alum who’ve just been published.

Available for purchase at the event (which also serves as the official book launch), the material in “Still Practicing: Writing from the SAGE Center” is culled from those with ties to the Chelsea-based organization, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Elders). The collection takes its name from a line in Bill Weimer’s work-in-progress memoir (“Still Practicing”), excerpts of which you’ll hear at the Writing Aloud event.

Free. Wed., June 25, 7 – 9 p.m. at SAGE (305 Seventh Ave., btw. 27th & 28th Sts., 15th Floor). For info, visit nywriterscoalition.org and sageusa.org.

They did the mash: “Gertrude Stein Saints!” uses everything from Shaker music to hip-hop, as it explores the essence of American language.  Photo by Jordan Harrison

They did the mash: “Gertrude Stein Saints!” uses everything from Shaker music to hip-hop, as it explores the essence of American language. Photo by Jordan Harrison

GERTRUDE STEIN SAINTS!

With no plot to follow, no characters to identify with and no dramatic conflict to be resolved, “Gertrude Stein Saints!” more than makes up for its lack of theatrical structure with its breathlessly paced, intensely sung, and joyfully danced pop-opera adaptation of Stein’s text from “Four Saints in Three Acts” and “Saints and Singing.”

In a successful Kickstarter campaign prior to its run at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival (for which its music and directing won Overall Excellence awards), Theater Plastique Artistic Director Michelle Sutherland described the work as “part concert, part séance, and all party.”

Critics were even more generous, with David Kennerley’s review (in our sister publication Gay City News) assuring prospective audiences that the “rarefied and curiously accessible…astounding, genre-busting masterwork…is like nothing you’ve ever seen…Let’s hope the troupe comes back to New York soon for a bona-fide run.” Kennerly got his wish — which means you get your chance to see this updated production, currently playing through June 28 at Abrons Arts Center. Directed by Sutherland with original music composed by the ensemble, “Saints!” uses rap, bluegrass, hollerin’, spoken word, jazz, hip-hop, Motown, doo-wop, soul, and more to expand on Stein’s fascination with the sound of American language.

Next up for Theatre Plastique is the second entry in a triptych of shows celebrating American Poetry. “Emily Dickinson OUTER SPACE!” will premiere at Brooklyn’s The Bushwick Starr theater in September. No word on the final installment’s featured author — but it’s a safe bet the title will end in exclamation point!

Through June 28, Thurs. – Sat. at 8 p.m. with an additional performance on June 17, at 8 p.m. At Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand St. at Pitt St.). For tickets ($20, $15 for students and seniors), call212-351-3101 or visit abronsartscenter.org.

–  BY SCOTT STIFFLER